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Jobless rate of nearly 26% unchanged, survey says

/ 06:06 AM August 19, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–An estimated 11.8 million Filipino adults were without jobs in June, almost the same number as in the previous quarter, according to a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that also found declining optimism over the availability of work.

According to the June 27-30 survey, joblessness was at 25.9 percent, or an estimated 11.8 million adults, in the second quarter, barely changed from the 25.7 percent or about 11.5 million in the first quarter this year.

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The latest figure is still below the record high of 34.4 percent seen in March 2012.

Of the 1,200 respondents in the June survey, 32 percent believed more jobs would be available in the next 12 months; 28 percent said there would be fewer jobs, resulting in a net optimism score (percent of more jobs minus percent of fewer jobs) of a “mediocre” plus 3, down from a “fair” plus 13 in March.

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Meanwhile, 29 percent said the number of available jobs would stay the same, down from 32 percent.

Different from LFS

The definition of the SWS of joblessness covers respondents aged 18 and above who are without jobs at present and are looking for work. This excludes those not looking for a job such as housewives, students and retired or disabled persons.

This is different from the government’s definition of unemployment in the Labor Force Survey (LFS), which includes persons 15 years and above who are not working, are looking for work and available for work. It includes those currently available for work but are not seeking work for reasons such as waiting for results of job applications, temporary illness, bad weather, waiting for rehire, and feeling tired or believe that no work is available.

The government’s latest LFS puts the official unemployment rate at 7 percent, or an estimated 2.92 million Filipinos, in April.

If the availability requirement is included, SWS said that adult joblessness in June would be at 15.2 percent, or an estimated 6.1 million Filipinos.

By sex, joblessness was up from 37.8 percent in March to 39.9 percent in June among women, while it dropped from 16.5 percent to 14.7 percent among men.

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First-time seekers

Across age groups, joblessness among 18 to 24 years old increased by 19.4 points to 62.8 percent, the highest since June 2008 at 63.3 percent. It was also up among aged 25 to 34 by 4.7 points to 35.2 percent, the highest since 45.4 percent in March 2012.

The nationwide joblessness rate includes those who were retrenched, those who resigned and first-time job seekers. The survey had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.–Ana Roa, Inquirer Research

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TAGS: jobless rate, joblessness, Philippines, survey, SWS
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